The Lazz Lounge, Gloucester Road, Review

The Lazz Lounge on Gloucester Road has been part of the local community hub for quite a few years now and it’s the friendliest and most welcoming place to drop in for breakfast, just coffee and cake, or the full works of a mixed mezze in evening. They supply Turkish hospitality and excellent Turkish food in equal measures, and you will never leave hungry or unhappy.

We pitched up one evening and decided to travel around Turkey via their menu starting with sharing a Turkish breakfast. For the uninitiated, a Turkish breakfast is spicy sausage, halloumi, mixed peppers, cherry tomatoes, olives and two eggs, baked in a pan in the oven and served with feta cheese, olives and flatbreads. It was a delicious combination, especially the spicy sausage and in our opinion beat the ‘full English’ hands down.

To follow we couldn’t resist trying the mixed mezze for two, charmingly billed as ‘2 to share (little little all in the middle)’ and we took an odds-on bet that it wouldn’t be little at all! We talked amongst ourselves whilst the mezze was being prepared, and admired the rather quirky light fittings, adapted bicycle wheels with a bunch of lights on ropes suspended from the ceiling which gave a warm and attractive glow.

Our mezze arrived arranged on the biggest oval plate you ever saw that almost covered the table. There were eleven different types of mezze to taste and enjoy; I started with the grilled halloumi with honey, then some ‘Sucuk’ spicy sausage which I really enjoyed. Spoiled for choice I tried next something I’d not had before and I think is unique to the Lazz Lounge – Borek, which is filo pastry with spinach and feta cheese (a bit like a toasted sandwich) and I loved it. My husband’s favourites were the calamari, lightly breaded and fried, and the spicy chicken wings so much so that I had to flick his hand away so I could get a chance to try the last one! Pilaki (kidney beans with carrots and potatoes), was on my list of favourites too, along with the stuffed vine leaves.

This is a fine dish to share and very good value at £18.90 as we certainly couldn’t finish it all. In fact, the charming owner talked us into trying their chef’s special, a famous Turkish dish called cokertme, sliced beef or chicken, lightly seasoned with Cajun spice served on a bed of fine crispy potatoes with a yoghurt dressing, which we also loved.

There is a Turkish tradition to take a walk after dinner into the town, and then buy a piece of baklava or something sweet to finish off which sounds most appealing. Naturally the Lazz Lounge’s baklava is to die for, but we hadn’t had the walk and it was raining so we had to leave this for another time!

Jacquie Vowles